73% of Musicians Suffer From Mental Illness

This is very disturbing. I can relate to the article fully, but I didn’t think it was this widespread. I mean 73 percent… It is so sad.

We (and the music industry and society) have to look out for each other. I don’t have any particular idea on solving this mass depression, but I just wanted to highlight:

  1. You are not alone
  2. We need to care!
  3. Something needs to be done to turn this development around?!

I thought there should be a place to talk about this, maybe not this exact thread (or why not?), but somewhere.

I only know I have seriously thought about discouraging my future children of venturing in to the industry because of the risks of mental unhealth that comes with it…



Don’t discourage your kids from doing anything they want to do (that isn’t dangerous/harmful). that is way more likely to cause problems. People aren’t unwell because of the music, they make the music because they’re unwell, it’s not the sole reason to play but people with more going on internally are more likely to have a desire to get that out, and more likely to have hobbies that mean spending a lot of time alone and distracted. Music ain’t the problem, it’s part of the cure, or just a byproduct.

Nice sentiment though, if anyone needs to chat hmu


Don’t think the music industry is the cause for the mental illness. I think it is similar in other creative fields. And that creative people often have similar mindset. Followed by highs and lows, and self critical about what they do.


suffer?! wrong. we enjoy it!


73% of the human race suffer from mental illness.


Somehow the article won t load on my mobile but my direct thoughts are:

  • what s the percentage in other professions?
  • if that many people are labeled with mental illness maybe our conception of what a healthy mind is is skewed.

I have an interest in psychology and neurology. As an artist and as someone with close ones experiencing severe psychologic issues. I ve noticed there is a constant movement towards medicalizing more and more behaviors that diverge from a supposed ‘normal’ brain. I wonder how many people sport such a 100% normal brain. I think if you look close enough you ll find divergences from that mythical norm in everyone. In other words, by obsessing over that norm and devitations from it we re labeling everyone ill, just by telling them they don t fit the norm. Perhaps it s time to realize the mind and brain is far too complex and diverse between people to be judged against just 1 virtual model of what a healthy brain is.


I believe that 73% of Arts oriented people suffer from this…the world we live in is hard to digest for sensitive people and artists (of any sort) are the most of them.


Lots of people who take drugs suffer from mental health problems too and not because one leads to the other, its a natural reaction to be drawn towards the things that help you cope and music is a wonderful tonic for many of lifes pressures.


To elaborate: here is a link to another, more extensive survey. It reaches to other conclusions in its 1st and 2nd phase. I believe the 3rd phase is yet to be completed.


A quote from the site sums up what I feel as well:

"Writing a song has never made me unhappy… it’s the industry, it’s the game”

And I need to point out, this is NOT aiming to whine about not being successful. My uneducated guess is that many share my view in that the industry in large is extremely demanding and unforgiving. I agree with Zepafra that people working in Arts and the Creative industries in general probably suffer about the same.

I don’t believe this is all Black- and White (things seldom are, right?). My personal belief is that the music industry that has made people millionaries from way back mid century up until now is a wrongly skewed way of conducting the business. So many things add up to the complicated situation of the business, and having studied just a few courses about the music industry I can’t say exactly what’s wrong and what is not, but I do have the feeling that the world of Social Media and the image of what a successful artist is today have something to do with these high numbers of mentally ill?

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well said…

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You’re probably joking but since it’s unclear and we’re on the internet, I need to point out that the actual numbers are around 15% globally.


All I can say is had I not gotten a guitar when I was 15, I don’t know where I’d be today. I didn’t have a stable living situation for awhile and suffered from insomnia and depression but I had music and I think it saved my life.
To this day my wife knows I need sometime daily to play/write. It keeps me balanced.
It’s also why I try to giveaway instruments I am not really using to people (kids mainly) who show an interest. That’s how I got mine.


I don’t think it’s neither sad or disturbing … I don’t think anyone achieved greatness without struggle, it’s not all roses and hugs.

I don’t even need to go rock legends or modern electronic music names etc.


I share this sentiment. Back before the internet ruled our lives, I was a depressed teenager so I locked myself in my room and played guitar until my fingers hurt, and learned every cover song I could by playing along to my cassette deck. Music is catharsis. Every day some lonely teenager finds his dad’s “Dark Side of the Moon” album and realizes he’s not alone. Mental illness exists in every walk of life. Only a few people are lucky enough to find a cure in music.


Exactly. I think the majority of the world could be diagnosed with some type of mental illness. The pharmaceutical companies are pushing that agenda.


Alright, I’ll just be the third one to interpret your post in yet another way:
Yeah, making music is ultimately what makes us human.



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Several things that come to mind when reading and considering this study.

First is the question of causation versus correlation.
Secondly did they have a control sample (meaning using the same questionnaire with a group of non-musicians). Maybe this questionnaire just trends a particular direction.
Thirdly this is a web survey – this means it is a self selected survey.
Fourthly you wouldn’t compare these numbers with global numbers for mental illness, but with the same cohort this survey selected - likely younger, and from a certain cultural group.
Fifthly it is very difficult to infer a psychiatric illness from a survey…

Not to say this isn’t a serious matter, just that we need to evaluate these things critcally.


No wonder im shitty at music :frowning:

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